Today, on The TechSeer, we are answering questions. And today’s question is, “Can humans live on Saturn?“
Elementary bits about Saturn
If you know much about Saturn from grade school, you know that Saturn is a planet. (Rather than a moon, asteroid, space station, etc). It is one of the eight known planets in our solar system. That is, unless you still want to argue about whether Pluto is a planet. Then, we might say it is one of nine.
There are five planets between Saturn and then sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter). Saturn is about 886 million miles from the sun (that’s 1.4 billion kilometers).
Jupiter is the only planet in our solar system that is larger than Saturn. It is so big that you would need to set up close to ten planet Earths side by side to cross the diameter of the planet.
As big as it is, Saturn also spins really fast. At least, fast compared to Earth. It takes just over 10 hours for Saturn to completely rotate all the way around just once. (It takes Earth 24 hours, and Earth is much, much smaller).
Most people recognize Saturn as the “planet with all the rings.” It is true, Saturn does have several rings around it, made up of rocks and ice. Many people don’t realize that there are other planets (and moons) which also have rings.
Okay, thanks for the basics. So tell us, how would humans far on Saturn?
I hate to break this to you, but the answer is probably no. At least, you wouldn’t be able to live on Saturn like you’d live on Earth, or perhaps even Mars.
Saturn is what we call a “gas giant.” It is a planet made up most of hydrogen and helium. This means that there is no solid surface on Saturn, Well, that we know of, anyway. Scientists theorize that there might be a solid core somewhere deep inside the giant.
So if you were thinking that you might one day take a space trip to Saturn and land on the surface of this beautiful planet…..yeah, not going to happen. There’s nothing to land on, first of all. Second, its a really inhospitable planet.
When I say “inhospitable,” I mean, that aside from the lack of solid space to be, the planet isn’t a good place for humans. We have certain needs to survive (oxygen, food, etc). Saturn doesn’t have any of that.
So Saturn doesn’t have anything humans need to survive?
Not really. But one really cool thing about Saturn is that it is very stormy. If you check out this article from Space.com, you’ll read a really detailed explanation about the mysterious, planet-encircling storms, occurring on Saturn. These storms are like thunder storms on Earth, except that they are about the size of Earth. Scientists are fairly excited to observe these storms, because they suggest that there might actually be water on this planet. Or around it, since Saturn doesn’t have any land for the water to sit on top of like we do here on Earth.
You could live near Saturn though…
Are your dreams of setting up a house on Saturn dashed? Maybe you couldn’t live on Saturn, but you could potentially live near to it. Researchers believe that it might be possible to live on one of Saturn’s 62 moons. That would be an up close and personal place to observe Saturn’s raging storms.
You could also check Jupiter’s moons. It is thought that there might be some habitable chunks out there in orbit around Saturn’s neighbor gas giant.
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